Alex Lifeson Is Going to "Crack a Few More Solos" on Envy of None's Second Album

He's also been playing Rush songs with Geddy Lee

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 8, 2024

Though it appears touring is no longer on the table for Alex Lifeson, the Rush six-stringer has had plenty of creative enjoyment with Envy of None — including shredding his way through some inimitable solos on the project's second album.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Lifeson shares that the follow-up to band's self-titled 2022 debut features "one song that I actually play, like, an Alex Lifeson solo on."

"I've been getting away from that for so long," Lifeson said of his lead playing. "And I did it, and we played it for a few people in the band and a couple of other people that are associated with us. And they were all like, 'Oh, my God, an Alex Lifeson solo! Finally, we get to hear you play like you used to play.' And it's got me thinking that maybe I'll crack a few more solos on this record."

Asked if he would ever tour with Envy of None, Lifeson offered, "It would be really great if we could recreate the feel of the records. But at the same time, this is not latter-day Rush. This is a start of a smaller unit. Traveling probably in a van! [laughs] Or I don't know if it would be that basic, but I wouldn't want to start all over again for any reason. I'm just too old and I have too much stuff in my life that I'm loving and happy with. And it's great to be with my family on a more permanent basis and all of that."

The guitarist divulged that some of that "stuff" includes getting together with longtime friend and bandmate Geddy Lee: "Ged and I are hanging out a lot — and we always do — but now we're hanging out at his place and we're playing. And we're actually playing a lot of Rush songs."

Lifeson finds humour in how the two "sound like a really bad tribute band for the first three or four run-throughs," explaining, "It's 'Oh, my God, what did I play there? Why did I play that so hard?' And then muscle memory kicks in, and we're having a ball doing it. It's good for the fingers. We're together in a room like we've always been. That's been really good, but there's no chance that we're going to get a drummer and go back on the road as the rebirth of Rush or something like that. And if we wanted to write new material, nobody cares about new material anymore. They just want to hear the old stuff from guys like us."

The guitarist shared that while offers for a Lee-Lifeson tour behind the music of Rush come in "all the time," he feels, "I don't think that's something that we're really interested in."

He explained, "I just don't know if doing something like that would wreck it. Or wreck the legacy that Rush has left ... we went out on a high note. That [final] tour was great. It looked great. We played really well. We bonded even more so with our audience. I'd rather have that and the sadness of not doing it again, than doing it again and sitting on a chair on stage because I can't stand [laughs]. I'd rather be remembered for that than something that's more current."

Last year, Lifeson and Envy of None shared EP That Was Then, This Is Now.

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